Cover Image: The Leaving Party

The Leaving Party

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Member Reviews

The Leaving Party has a premise that is set up to be thrilling, however, the pacing and overall story left me underwhelmed. Told by two narrators, Lena and Ave, we see as Ava prepares to leave her job, moving to be with her boyfriend Ben. Lena is hosting a party for Ava. Ava start receiving strange gifts and scare her into realizing that someone else know what she did. 

I was left somewhat bored overall by the story. It moved slower that I would expect. If the pacing were at the speed as it should be, this could have been excellent. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book. 

 Well, where to start.... 
  Ava and Lena were not likable main characters. Was this done on purpose? I don't know, but it hard to read sometimes because they were annoying. 
 This is told in two different POV's, from 2 different times, 13 years apart. Sometimes it got a bit confusing trying to keep up, but that aside it wasn't a hard story to follow. 
  The pace is kind of slow, and things really go from here to there and back again whilst unraveling the tale. The ending was a bit lackluster, but the overall book was pretty good.
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I love a classic whodunnit and this takes that and turns it into a great psychological thriller.
A cracking opener of a first page makes you wonder if that happened or it was a dream. How cool is that putting you on the back foot right from the start.
Then we are introduced to Ava on the day of her leaving party organised by her best friend Lena. Told in dual timelines and perspectives and in short chapters we learn of an incident that occurred involving Ava and Lena thirteen years ago and the roses Ava receives each year like a morbid anniversary gift.
I loved both the current timeline and the 2005 one, they were equally as captivating. The protagonist was likeable but maybe slightly naive and Lena was, well I still can’t quite put my finger on it but definitely codependent. Many of Ava’s relationships are toxic and the collection of suspects ( really need to have a collective term for that) were so well written it could have been any of them. The sister, the ex, the boss, the best friend and the boyfriend I had them all pegged for it at certain points.
The mystery is a slow burn but the chapter length turns this into a quick read and it has plenty of misdirection to pique your interest.
This had more twists and turns than Strictly on a Saturday night and the author is one clever, devious manipulator.
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Lies, love, deceit, and friends all come together in this story.  The story was very well done. It was a fast paced story, told in alternating time lines and POVs. 

As for the characters I have to say that they weren't exactly unlikeable but you could tell something was up. Which made me really like this one more.  The story with the characters just kind of makes it work. I do wish that this would have had more of a wow factor towards the end but what I got was worth the read.
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This story was told from Ava and Lena point of views. Sometimes it got confusing because I don't know which of them was talking. This story shifts between party from past and the present. Something happened 13 years ago and it haunts them especially Ava.


Omg I don't like the main characters. They are annoying, needy and stupid. The ending was erghhhh 🙄

Thank you Netgalley and author for this Arc!


🌟🌟.5
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The Leaving Party is my first experience of Sanderson's writing and I was not disappointed. I loved the way Sanderson introduced me to some flawed but fascinating characters and drew me into their stories. They all have secrets and the small hints as to what they were were expertly placed as the novel progressed so that the tension was able to simmer until the explosive ending.

The time frame of The Leaving Party switches between 2005 and the present day. This allows Sanderson to reveal the events of the past to the reader gradually. I was hooked by this and I desperately wanted to know what had created the unusual dynamic between Ava and Lena. 

Although I did guess part of the ending, there are still some gripping twists which kept me interested until the final page.
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Favorite Quotes:

Joe had long hair and John Lennon glasses and wasn’t her type at all. He looked as if he listened to old hippy music and played a guitar.

Our eyes meet and her smile flickers at me. It’s one of those unpleasant smiles that looks like it hides a mouthful of rotten teeth.

Our eyes meet and I bat away that sliver of uncertainty about her that wriggles inside me like a tapeworm.


My Review:

This slowly evolving tale was maddeningly paced and zigzagged through two timelines which were thirteen years apart, with frequent vague mentions of a significant event, although we aren’t given the exact details until much later of what that significant antecedent entailed.   And I was all about the knowing.  So many shifty trick cards this canny author pulled from her sly sleeves.  I was totally crushed amidst all the ruthless twists and turns to learn that no one was trustworthy, everyone had their own agenda, and most ended up a bit screwed over, hmm, sounds a lot like real life come to think of it…
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I struggled to get into this book. I found the storyline great but I didn't like the execution. It felt like more could have been done to lift the story. Some parts were also a bit unbelievable but maybe it's just me. For 1 thing my phone is attached to me like an extra limb!  
I was unfortunately underwhelmed.
Thank you to Netgally and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Two friends, an accident 13 years ago, an estranged sister and a leaving party .......... what could go wrong ?

Ava is packing up her life in the UK and getting ready to move to America with her boyfriend Ben. Her housemate and best friend, Lena, throws Ava a surprise leaving party. Everyone has been invited, even people that Ava is not keen on ....... what could go wrong ?

13 years ago, at another party, something terrible happened but the event has led to Ava and Lena having an unbreakable bond but can their friendship survive another party. 

Martha, Ava’s estranged sister turns up at the leaving party as she doesn’t want Ava leaving the country without them making up. Lena and Martha have never got on but can they finally put their differences aside for the sack of Ava ?

This is a great story that over the past and present shows the friendship between Ava and Lena, as well as the events leading to the destruction of two sisters relationship.  The story is told over two timelines as well as from Lena and Ava’s perspective in alternating chapters. 

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for a digital copy of this book.
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This one really left me surprised! I did not know what to expect but I am very happy that I was able to read this one... truly it captured my attention and in such a way that I was not expecting! A must read! Bravo to Lesley Sanderson.
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Tiny Synopsis: Ava receives a single black rose every single year - everyday on the same day and has been for 13 years. Reminding her of the past. Wants to start a new life and packs up her bag in attempt to leave London all behind. Her best friend Lena throws her a leaving party and one by one, guests start show up. Then another rose appears. Someone at the party knows her secret. And they are there at her house. Which guest is it? And what is her secret?

Thank you to @netgalley and Bookouture for the advanced copy for my honest review! 

This book is out Jan 31, 2020!

My Review:⭐️⭐️.5 / 5 stars

First off, the cover art is so attractive. The premise is also very intriguing. Please note that it is a british novel so the slang and language takes a bit to get used . Then does anyone else read the book in a british accent in their head too? That would be me.   However that kind of is about it. I really wanted to like this but as I started to read this, I found myself not caring about who even sent her black roses and why she was leaving to move to America. I felt indifferent to the character and only mildly interested in knowing why she has this big old secret from 2005. And I already predicted the ending early on. Very different than some other books I’ve read where it jolts me awake. I kept reading though so that I could make sense of it as it does get confusing from the multiple  point of views & past/present timelines. Aside from the eye-catching cover, I would not recommend.
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Ava has received a black rose on an anniversary each year. We don’t know what happened other than an accident. She is about to leave and begin a new life in New York with her fiance Ben - the engagement being something she hasn’t told Lena about yet. Again on the mat sits the box that holds another black rose. She doesn’t know who the sender is. She just has to get through her leaving party and a meal the following evening then she can escape. Alternate chapters take us back to 2205 with Ava, Lena, Gareth and other friends- and how their relationships developed- or not. The current chapters are told from either Lena or Ava’s point of view, each with their own secrets. A tension is building between the pages. Who is sending the roses and why.? There are several suspects and I kept alternating who I thought it was. I liked the concept however for me there wasn’t enough tension/umph, something was unfortunately slightly lacking. An enjoyable read however- just could do with a little more suspense. One to build on.
(rest of links as part of blog tour) am done-= misfits farm
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This story felt a little disjointed to me. The chapters changed between different points of view and timeline. I feel as if drastic changes took place without much of a reason and it left me to wanting to know more of the “why”. Even though it was didn’t end up being a favorite, I appreciate being given the opportunity to read and review this E-ARC.
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This is the story of two friends, Ava and Lena.  One night 13 years ago, there was a tragedy which they were both involved in.  Every year since, on the anniversary of that night, Ava has been sent an anonymous black rose.  Trying to put what happened behind her, the memories of that night are brought back up again every year, but when Ava has the opportunity to move to New York to live with her boyfriend she thinks she will finally be free from it all.  However, when Lena throws her a leaving party, strange things happen with more black roses appearing and Ava’s personal belongings going missing.  Just who is behind it all?

This was a chilling read which had me hooked from the first page.  Told from two different timeframes, the story switches backwards and forwards from present day to 13 years previously.  The story from the past fills in the gaps as to what happened to Ava and Lena, and it was tantalisingly drip-fed in little snippets throughout the whole book.  The switches between timeframes was done smoothly and at no point did the story become confusing, if anything the tension and suspense of what was happened increased as the chapters passed.  The characters were great and Ava and Lena’s characters particularly added to the mystery of the story.  I have to admit, I didn’t particularly like either of them – there was just something about them which I couldn’t put my finger on!! – but this is what made the storyline so addictive!

The author did a cracking job of leading me down dead ends and throwing red herrings right at me.  It definitely kept me thinking of who it could be, and there were plenty of characters for me to accuse!  I did eventually work it out before it was revealed, but this didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the book one little bit.  I did however love how it kept you guessing as the story moved on though, and I don’t know about you but there is certainly something creepy about a black rose!!  This was a suspenseful thriller of a read, filled with lots of lies and mistrust.  Would definitely recommend!
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This was a one day read for me, so I can say it was definitely a page turner, but it wasn't the best book I've read. I'd give it a solid three stars. While it kept me turning the pages, the story itself was a bit implausible and I felt like we never got any depth to the characters, especially Ben.
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The book was slow to jog my interest and curiosity. I think it was Chapter Four before I felt a frisson of low-key suspense. My biggest problem was that I couldn't relate well to the two main characters Ava and Lena and felt disconnected. I suspect it may have been a generation difficulty and possibly more suitable to younger readers than me. I found the characters so frivolous and superficial that they got on my nerves. The ending was predictable long before it came, so the suspense was lost. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture.
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This is a great psychological thriller that had me hooked from the first few pages. 
When I realised the whole book is about one party I wondered how it would keep my interest, but believe me, there’s plenty to keep you gripped. 
There’s also some flashback chapters to 2005 when something happened that affected Ava’s life, and we find out the truth as the story unfolds. 
In the present day, Lena has organised a party for her close friend, Ava as she is moving to New York to be with her fiancé. 
Lena is desparate for her not to go - but how far will she go?
Ava’s sister arrives at the party and deep buried hatred between her and Lena comes to the surface. 
I did feel sorry for Ava as this happy occasion soon starts to crumble around her. 
You’ll have to make your own mind up about Lena but for me, her behaviour is not that of a best friend and whilst Ava doesn’t know who to trust, Lena continues to influence her. 
This is a great read that had me racing through the pages to find out what happens next. 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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I liked this book. The timelines were a bit confusing but it was still an interesting read. I found the ending a bit predictable but I feel like it would be surprising to people new to thrillers.
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The Leaving Party by Lesley Sanderson was an excellent chilling and suspenseful read. I was hooked from the very first few pages. You will find that this book is told in two different timelines, by two different narrators,  However it did get confusing at times but stick with it..............it will all come together at the end and it will leave you shocked!!! Promise

This brilliant book is a between two close friends Ava and Lena. They have been school friends since their school days and are like sisters. Lena has arranged a surprise leaving party for Ava as she is moving to New York with her fiance Ben.  
However, 

They both share a dark secret from their past. Will this secret come out in the open?

Every year since 2005 Ava receives a Black 🌹rose with dark petals, jagged thorns, on the anniversary of a mysterious accident that happened when they were teenagers. There's no note with the rose.

Who is sending Ava these Black 🌹roses? 

Ava just wants to get on the plane, start her new life with Ben and forget her past and hope's she never gets a black 🌹rose sent to her again.

But, things do no go to plan as she receives another black 🌹rose with not note attached to it. She throws this 🌹in the bin and hope no one finds it!

This book is full of twists and turns and will have you shocked at the end...........Just brilliant!!!!!

I highly recommend this book.

Big Thank you to Lesley Sanderson and Bookouture for a arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review
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I found this story to be predictable and not as good as I hoped  it would be. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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